WINDHOEK – The state has strongly objected to granting of bail for the 36-year old-man accused of repeatedly raping his stepdaughter for nearly four years.
According to the state, there is fear that the accused will have contact directly or indirectly with the victim as he is still in a relationship with the victim’s mother.
Crime against minors is currently on the rise in the country and the court should send a strong message to would-be offenders, state prosecutor Rowan van Wyk told Magistrate Linus Samunzala last week.
The accused, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of the victim, remains in police custody.
He faces multiple counts of rape for allegedly sexually violating the victim between 2015 and 2019. The sexual violation against the victim allegedly started when she was 11-years-old, according to court documents. The victim is now 15-years-old.
During submissions before judgment, Van Wyk explained that the state should not consider releasing the accused on bail as he may abscond as the charges that he is facing are of a serious nature.
Presenting his submissions, defence counsel Jan Wessels said that his client needs to be released on bail, as he is the breadwinner of his family. Furthermore, he has people that depend on him.
Also, Wessels noted that the accused intends on furthering his studies. Attempting to convince the court to grant his client bail, Wessel said that the accused would not abscond as he has no relatives outside of Windhoek and he would not have contact directly or indirectly with the victim or state witnesses.
Wessels informed the court that his client can pay N$25 000 for his release back into society. Furthermore, Wessels claims there is no strong evidence that the accused committed the heinous crime.
He intents on pleading not guilty when standing trial. He denies any wrongdoing, stating that he was never caught having sexual intercourse with the minor.
A local daily reported that the social worker who assessed the victim testified that the sexual abuse started with the accused getting into bed with the victim which ultimately progressed to him touching the victim inappropriate on the breast, buttocks and private parts.
The victim expressed that she was worried that her mother was siding with the suspect with whom she has been in a relationship with for five years and with whom she shares a son.
According to the social worker, she spoke to the victim’s mother who informed her that she was only aware of her boyfriend inappropriately touching the victim.
The mother informed her that she recommended therapy of her boyfriend. The mother is unwilling to walk away from her relationship with the suspect, citing that she has worked hard for it. She allegedly informed the therapist that the victim seduced her alleged abuser.
The victim is currently no longer under the care of the mother. She has been placed under the care of her paternal aunt.
The matter is set to continue this week Wednesday.